Biden’s job approval ticks upward to 62 percent, poll finds

President Biden’s approval is hovering just above 60 percent more than four months into his presidency, buoyed by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and improving views of the U.S. economy, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

Overall, 62 percent of respondents said they either strongly or somewhat approve of the job Biden is doing in the White House, while 38 percent said they disapprove. By comparison, former President Trump scored 45 percent approval in a May 2017 Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

Biden gets his highest marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 70 percent saying they like the job he’s done so far to rein in the outbreak. 

But he also performs well among voters when it comes to his stewardship of the economy and stimulating jobs, garnering 62 percent approval on each front. Nearly as many — 61 percent — said they approve of how he is administering the government.

Biden gets his worst reviews on his handling of immigration, though a majority — 53 percent — still say they approve of how he’s handling the matter.

The poll suggests that overall perceptions of both major political parties are also improving. 

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they approve of the Democratic Party, up from 53 percent last month. Meanwhile, approval of the GOP ticked up to 49 percent from 46 percent at the end of April, according to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

“The Biden honeymoon rolls on as people see the virus receding and the economy improving — no drop at all in approval of Biden and if anything the country is warming to both political parties for the first time,” said Mark Penn, the director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

“We see some softening of hard partisan lines with the Democrats over 50 [percent] in favorability and Republicans also improving,” he added.

Biden’s steady approval rating tracks with improving perceptions of the U.S. economy. In total, 56 percent of respondents said they view the economy as “strong,” up more than 10 points since January.

Likewise, the percentage of Americans who say their personal finances are improving has risen 5 points since January to 33 percent, while the percentage who say that things are getting worse has dropped from 28 percent to 23 percent in the same time span.

Still, a majority of respondents — 54 percent — attribute the improving economic conditions to the widespread distribution of coronavirus vaccines. About 46 percent say that the policies of the Biden administration are responsible for the brightening outlook. 

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,945 registered voters was conducted from May 19-20. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags approval rating Coronavirus Donald Trump economy Harvard CAPS/Harris poll Joe Biden Mark Penn Pandemic
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